Indian Bollywood Wedding | Philadelphia Airport Marriott | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Neha & Jithin’s Wedding Highlights
Indian Bollywood Wedding
Philadelphia Airport Marriott | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Neha & Jithin’s Wedding Highlights
We have reached their wedding day! It has been such an adventure with Neha and Jithin and the journey to their wedding day. We have already spent two days getting to know their beautiful families and soaking in their culture. All the events on the day were schedule down to the 5 minute increment (including application of lipstick); staying on time for this wedding was no joke, and with over 350 guests expected, we had to stay on time!
I must introduce you to Neha’s Wedding Binder. All kidding aside, I do not think this wedding celebration would have been made possible without it!
We made sure our photography team was prepared to capture an event of 350 people. We brought two assistants, Alexis and Sandy, as well as a third photographer, Ashly. Thank you for all your hard work helping us capture Neha and Jithin’s wedding vision!
Hair and make-up started bright and early for the bride at 6am by the wonderful Heena Das Makeup. We arrived around 8am with the fantastic husband and wife cinematography team from 4LC Studios to capture the craziness in the bridal suite at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott. Neha and her close family were primped and prepped for the first events of the day. Both Neha and Jithin had two outfits for the day, one for the ceremony and one for the reception. We start the day in the ceremony outfit which was custom made and designed by Neha’s cousin, Ritu, in India.
Jithin’s getting ready for the morning was pretty straightforward. He two wore his ceremony outfit (custom made by Ritu in India), but he also wore a sword (which for portraits in Philadelphia, we elected to leave in the car… there are only so many adventures we can have on a wedding day). Neha had different members of her entourage adorned her with her jewelry which was from India. Before she left the room, Jithin sent over her wedding gift; a new Coach purse with a new iPad! Neha gifted her groom quite a handsome pair of Mont Blanc cufflinks to be worn with his evening wear.
Neha and Jithin gave us almost 2 hours for their first portrait session of the day at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It had rained the night before during their Sangeet, but Saturday’s festivities gave us perfect May blue skies so their outdoor photos were perfect. They held hands and cuddle outside the Art Museum. We took some strolls and ran into other brides and grooms while we were out. The common trend through these photos? The fact that we could not wipe the smiles of Neha and Jithin’s faces!
We returned to the Philadelphia Airport Marriott for the first half of family photos. Over the course of the day we took over 100 posed family photos! Jithin said goodbye to his beautiful bride and headed outside the Marriott for his Baraat. The Baraat is the groom’s arrival to the wedding. Traditionally brought in on an elephant or horse, Jithin elected for a black convertible. Guests dance, sing, and celebrate the arrival of the groom. Neha retreated to a room away from the action to have her dupatta (veil) placed and final touches to her outfit done. This particular wedding ceremony actually starts without the bride with the Aagmaan and Milni. These ceremonies welcome the groom into the brides family. The Ganesh Puja, happens right before the bride arrives. Neha was escorted by some very important men in her life. The couple then performs the Jai Mala, which is an exchange of garlands to signify that they are taking one another as lifelong partners. Oh, and most importantly, somewhere along the way Jithin lost his shoes for the Joota Chupai!
Like many European wedding ceremonies, there are many traditional pieces that are performed during the couples time on the alter. Different areas of India perform different ceremonies, so I will just touch briefly upon the rest of Neha and Jithin’s ceremony. The Priest, Kiran Desai gave a wonderful ceremony with Indian and English translations. Other pieces included Kanyadanam (giving away the bride), Mangal Phera (Holy steps around the fire), Panigrahanam (joining hands), Saptapadi (the Seven Steps), Exchange of Rings, Exchange of Mangalsutra (wedding necklace), and Sindoor (Offer of Vermillion – the groom welcoming the bride into his life and his guarantee to protect her), Ashirvad (Pronouncement and Blessings). At this point, Neha’s family kindly returned Jithin’s shoes; but might I add they drove a hard bargain!
Neha and Jithin were swept back to the bridal suite at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott for one last hair, makeup, and outfit change before the reception. Notice on Neha’s gown the nod to the fusion of American and Indian styles in her dress. When you watch the highlights of their photos, you will notice many photos of the mehendi (henna) designs all over their hands. I must give a shoutout to the wonderfully talented Mansi and Ruchi Shah for their mad skills!
Neha and Jithin enjoyed their last portrait session up on the roof of the parking garage overlooking the Philadelphia Airport. This was perfect for their session because of their love for travel. Guests enjoyed cocktail hour and the mini version of Uncorked Studios Open Air Photo Booth.
The reception hall (as well as the beautiful ceremony space) was decorated by Elegant Affairs. Neha and Jithin were introduced into the reception and instead of going into their first dance, they cut their Carlos Bakery cake right away. (Did you know there are rumors Carlos is opening a shop right here in Philadelphia?). Guests enjoyed the catering of Moghul Caterers while they listened to close friends and family of Neha and Jithin toast them, tell stories, and give advice for their new married life. Just like the Sangeet, DJ Gaurav rocked the night away with an awesome blend of Indian and American top chart favorites. Guests also enjoyed the larger version of our Open Air Photo Booth with the gold sparklely background!
Thank you Neha and Jithin for including us in such a warm, fun, lively, and inviting celebration!